Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Will we play in the Asian Nations Cup in Hamadan, Iran from 26 July - 4 August 2018?


For many years now Malaysia has not participated.

This used to be called the Asian Team Championships for the Tun Razak Trophy but it had mysteriously disappeared and so the event got rebranded!

Hopefully we send a team and I am all for veterans, youth or even the second tier for exposure.

In 1986 we had our best ever finish when placing fourth in Dubai but that kind of result we can only dream off in the future.

10 Questions to Federations

National Chess Federations in Asian are beginning to tell the world about themselves... at least those who have something to share!

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Report on the Asian Universities Championships 2018

Indonesia - Men Champions

China - Women Champions 

Brilliant Report by Ed Andaya: http://asianchess.com/news/asians-are-the-winners-at-the-asian-universities-championships/

Will I actually find the time to be able to be part of a once in a lifetime trip?

Few know this but I am working on a book with Eugene Torre and at one of our sessions he was kind enough to invite me to be his second at "World Legends", obviously the highlight of the sixth edition of the International Chess Festival "Vila de Platja D' Aro".

Just imagine to be part of an event where my chess hero, the former World Champion Anatoly Karpov, the legendary Yugoslav Lujbomir Ljubojevic, and current World Senior Champion Anatoly Vaisser, will all be in battle with our own Asian great!

In Catalonia, Spain... Barcelona, and with my good friend, David Llada, the very best chess photographer in the world, and most importantly, a known gourmet, also in attendance all way from beautiful San Sebastian at the opposite end of the country.

Click on http://view.chessbase.com/cbreader/2018/6/5/Game755260234.html to see Torre's sensational win against Karpov in the time he was practically unbeatable on way to winning an event which can be a predecessor to "Word Legends".

Two Of Three Known Candidate Teams for FIDE Election Have Now Been Named!

First up was incumbent President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov on 26 April: "Nomination for the Presidential ticket (the candidate’s electoral team whose members are nominees for FIDE presidential council) must be made within three months before the opening of the General Assembly. However, I decided to do it today," Ilyumzhinov said."


Then today, on 4 June, his Deputy (Acting) President Georgios Makropoulos said: “I am delighted to tell you today that I have assembled an experienced and talented team with representation from each continental federation. The team has expertise in FIDE affairs, sports administration, chess sponsorship, tournament organisation/ promotion, business and finance and also experience in the political arena.


Friday, 1 June 2018

World Ranking of the Top 30 Asian Countries and their No. 1 Player

Country No. 1 Player Rating
2 China 4 Ding Liren 2798
5 India 13 Anand, Viswanathan 2759
28 Iran 138 Maghsoodloo, Parham 2638
34 Uzbekistan 88 Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2662
36 Kazakhstan 283 Jumabayev, Rinat 2594
37 Vietnam 25 Le Quang Liem 2728
45 Australia 644 Zhao, Zong-Yuan 2553
48 Philippines 539 Sadorra, Julio Catalino 2546
55 Mongolia 457 Batchuluun, Tsegmed 2561
60 Indonesia 788 Megaranto, Susanto 2516
65 Bangladesh 1014 Rahman, Zaiur 2498
67 Singapore 1274 Goh, Wei Ming Kevin 2477
68 Myanmar 1888 Wynn Zaw Htun 2443
78 Iraq 3212 Al-Saffar, Araz Basim Mohammed S 2400
81 New Zealand 5088 Li, Zuhao Luke 2357
82 UAE 133 Salem, A. R. Saleh 2642
83 Malaysia 1030 Yeoh Li Tian 2497
86 Kyrgyzstan 3332 Tologontegin, Semetey 2398
89 Jordan 3000 Khader, Sami 2405
91 Syria 6478  Al-Tarbosh, Ward 2332
94 Tajikistan 243 Amonatov, Farrukh 2605
97 Japan 2680 Kojima, Shinya 2408
100 Lebanon 2736 Eid, Fadi 2328
101 Pakistan 5431 Lodhi, Mahmood 2350
106 South Korea 3173 Camacho Collados, Jose 2401
109 Sri Lanka 23688 Thilakarathne, G M H 2188
111 Thailand 19405 Kongsee, Uaychai 2245
116 Qatar 848 AL-Sayed, Mohammed 2511
120 Nepal 22297 Thing, Bibek 2210
121 Palestine 16671 Michel Yunis, Christian D. 2232

Malaysia Top 40 - FIDE Rating - June 2018

Thursday, 31 May 2018

The Performance of the Malaysian Team at World Chess Olympiads

Malaysia at the World Chess Olympiad 
Ranking Up/Down Notes
Baku 2016 134 -64 Worst Result
Tromso 2014 72 -8  
Istanbul 2012 64 +28  
Khanty-Mansiysk 2010 92 +4  
Dresden 2008 96 -16  
Turin 2006 80 -10  
Calvia 2004 70 +5  
Bled 2002 75 -11  
Istanbul 2000 64 +10  
Elista 1998 74 -10  
Yerevan 1996 64 +32  
Moscow 1994 96 -18  
Manila 1992 78 -5  
Novi Sad 1990 73 -15  
Thessaloniki 1988 58 -16  
Dubai 1986 42 +8 Best Result
Thessaloniki 1984 50 +7  
Lucerne 1982 57 -8  
La Valetta 1980 49 +8  
Buenos Aires 1978 57    

Tuesday, 29 May 2018


The ASEAN+ Age-Group Chess Championships, now approaching its third decade, has has been acknowledged to be the single most important catalyst for young talent development in the ASEAN region.

Practically every leading young star, most who are the top players in their countries today, got their first international exposure in this event and many grew over the years in intense but friendly rivalry and competition together!

In fact, many tasted their first success at the ASEAN+ Age-Group Chess Championships.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Back To My First Love!

The end of April 2017 saw my setting up the Institute for Chess Excellence at the request of the leadership of the Malaysian Chess Federation (MCF) to also serve as a National Chess Academy to facilitate much needed "education and training" for the local chess community.

Good or bad, just some three months later, in July, I also ended up as MCF Secretary, a post that I did not ask for or want, as I told MCF President Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin but reluctantly agreed to as "national service".

Of course, when I take on something, I put everything into it but as I have always reminded everyone, I serve only by appointment and/or as long as the MCF Council needs me and so by the first quarter of this year, not only was it impossible financially, but the job was interfering with what I really wanted to do and I was looking to exit.

MCF, like Malaysia, is in great need of structural change and that requires a paradigm shift in values and an end to vested interests we have become so used to for much too long. The good news is the new generation is ready but they will need to step up to have the chess they want.

I thank Datuk Zahidi for the opportunity to serve but have also recognised that he is primarily a BN-UMNO politician, and so his actions will be necessarily less for the game but for accommodation of his audience or "grassroots support" as communicated to him by his people.

Effectively I had stepped aside since 31 March 2018 but thanks to prior obligations in Thailand for most of April, it has only been from 1 May 2018 that I have been able to start again full time at the Institute of Chess Excellence without any conflict of interest or need to support national development with my own money.

The best thing is that without the drain of having to deal with endless politics, corruption and negativity, I have much of my old energy back and am very much back in control of my environment by refocusing on offering training to help develop today's young talent.

Hopefully I can continue to do this at a good level for the next two or three years given I am not a young man anymore!

For those interested, my programs and current training schedule is as follows:

1500-1800: Future Stars (1600-1800). Playing in National & International Level Competitions

0900-1000: Enjoy Chess (0-1200). First Steps to Playing Chess for Fun
1030-1200: Young Talents (1200-1600). Playing in Competitions
1300-1700: Today's Champions (1800-2200). Targeting WIM, FM, WGM and IM titles

1030-1200: Young Talents (1200-1600). Playing in Competitions
1300-1700: Category Grading (0-1600) & Training Games (1600-2200)

More details can be found at the Institute for Chess Excellence website www.instituteforchessexcellence.org and Facebook page www.facebook.com/chessexcellence/

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Top 30 Men... and Top 10 Women

Yeoh Li Tian continues to edge his way up to passing the magical 2500 mark but there is no one else remotely close to his level.

His predecessor as undisputed Malaysian No. 1, Mas Hafizulhelmi, has been at this 2300+ level for sometime now while juggling work and family commitments and so is not likely to turn back the clock. Yet he remains easily a permanent and valuable member of national teams. 

Young players have been long on the rise but the jury is still out as to whether they will be able to make the jump and of these, National Champion Wong Yinn Long has most impressed.

Perhaps this year might be the chance for several senior players who have narrowly missed out on national team selection and given the unprecedented shameful 134th placing at the Baku Olympaid two years ago, it is unlikely there will be tampering in the qualification process again.  

Our No. 1 girl is Tan Li Ting and she is also ranked 19th amongst the men (more correctly is perhaps to call it the combined list) and the gap between her and a resurgent Alia Anin Azwa Bakri is almost 100 points!

National teams have always had the top four playing when all available and while not likely to change, the competition for the fifth spot is now very intense and that might also shake up the rest of the regulars who have practically taken their places for granted.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Malaysian FIDE Trainers Directory

This is a particularly important announcement for our local chess community given so many do chess coaching for a living and such titles are important to them.

Sadly many are inactive (suspended in FIDE terms) and/or in arrears of licence fees.

I would encourage those who feel these titles are still important to them to immediately make payment.

MCF's upside is we now have a directory of official FIDE licenced trainers!

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Back To Doing MCF Work

For the Malaysian Chess Federation (MCF), a very positive outcome from the Asian Summit held in UAE last December was significant help from the Asian Chess Federation with a grant given towards helping us organise a FIDE Arbiter Seminar.

This is also going to be an arbiter refresher course for existing arbiters and which is very timely indeed given the changes of the laws of chess and some marked trends which are affecting regulations.

With this MCF has also published a directory of our current FIDE Arbiters and introduced a new process for qualified individuals to apply to become National Arbiters.

It is well known that when Abd Hamid Majid left as MCF Secretary many years ago, so did all the assets and in Gregory Lau's time, new assets never really did seem to accumulate.

So I was very grateful to Hisham Al-Taher, General Secretary of the Asian Chess Federation, for agreeing to give us 100 chess clocks, 50 of which I was able to carry back with me, and another 50 which will be brought over by Casto Abundo Jr, Executive Director of the Asian Chess Federation, when he comes over to conduct the FIDE Arbiter Seminar.

So much of Malaysian chess (as in most of the rest of the world) revolves around kids who play chess and with the Asian Youth Championships in neighbouring Thailand in April, it was matter of urgency to let our community know how they could participate.

The solution was of course to open it up to all, the only caveat being that their respective state chess associations needed to endorse their participation.

Of course there was still an administrative fee charged by MCF - we are all volunteers and while we do not charge for time, surely some of the expenses incurred by the Secretariat as a whole should be subsidised - and RM 100 is just half of the amount of  what was previously asked.

What is the other question now being asked? Yes, it is how to qualify for the official place. Very simple indeed, just win your respective category at the coming National Youth Championships!